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A Sweep of Virginia Sets Up Showdown Against UNC

The big subject today was the possibility of Duke looking over their game against Virginia, and focusing on North Carolina. Apparently, Duke didn’t read any of those articles. Much like the first game at Cameron, Duke dominated Virginia and especially shut down Sean Singletary.

Early on Virginia and Duke were battling it out, with each team answering each others momentum. No team clearly had the advantage until late in the first half when Duke went on a run that saw them close out the half strong up by 11. Duke came out of the locker room strong, keeping up the momentum from the first half. Virginia was only able to make a small run where they got within 9 points of Duke. Other than that Duke kept a double digit lead throughout the second half. No matter what Virginia did, Duke always had an answer. And while Duke was running all over the court, Virginia was trying to catch their breath. All in all, a great win for Duke. After being inefficient in their past few games, they needed to show some of that team that we saw earlier in the year. If it wasn’t for Duke taking starting to run clock with about ten minutes left, they would have been well above 100 points. They put on a great “show” for their fans, and look ready for North Carolina on Saturday.

Like all the great Duke wins this year, there was a balanced scoring attack by Duke, as five players were in double-figures. Henderson(19), Singler(18), Nelson(16), Paulus(14), and Scheyer(10). Singler and Henderson also chipped in 8 and 7 boards respectively.

Quick Thoughts
-Duke shot 50.8% FG and 44.4% 3PT
-Nolan Smith looked good going 2-2 from beyond the arc in just 11 minutes

PLAYER OF THE GAME
Gerald Henderson
It was really hard to pick. But Henderson went 8-13 from the field. He filled up the stat sheet with 19 points, 7 boards, and 4 assists. Gerald has had some good games this year, but I think this one might have been the best. That shot looked so smooth. And we should remember that last year at this time, as Duke began to fall, Henderson started looking better and better. Hopefully, his play tonight is just a preview for more solid play from Henderson.

Next up: Duke and North Carolina both have done their part to set up the showdown at Cameron. The winner will not only be the ACC regular season champion, they will get a huge advantage for #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, bragging rights, and of course the title of “Kings of Tobacco Road”.